If a checklist existed of hardships that a family would undergo after a murder, Kay Crawford and her family have checked them all. In the 15 years since her son Joshua Delaney’s murder, the family has been through much while awaiting the judicial process.
News of the suspect in Joshua’s case being arrested was incredibly hopeful for Crawford but also complicated as the suspect was jailed for his role in another homicide, not for Joshua’s murder. Crawford is now forced to accept that no one may ever be publicly held accountable in her son’s murder.
Kay shares many memories of her son – a kid in one instance, a teen with great promise, a young man on the verge of stepping into his greatness – all woven in no particular order.
Joshua is a breeze in her memory, freely flowing, always unexpected. Kay is open with her journey, sharing her son with the masses and the newest generation of Crawford’s. Her memorial page is devoted to keeping Joshua’s memory alive through updates, pictures and devotionals. For the children left in Joshua’s shadow, own Kay has fought to maintain his imprint and allow for his inclusion.
Joshua’s death has had an immeasurable impact on the family. The aftermath for each sibling adjusting to life without their older brother has been painfully witnessed by Crawford. She is certain in her conviction that the life path they now journey was altered by her son’s murder. Crawford expresses her initial realization that as a mother of a murdered child and children living, the balance to fulfill the needs and responsibility to both groups was initially difficult. She attributes that to many bouts of anger.
Often, when a homicide occurs, a family has no idea where to turn or where to find support. Crawford shares with Project: Cold Case that, while she had a good support system in family, friends, and co-workers after Joshua’s murder, she quickly recognized that in their small community in Colorado Springs, there were no families dealing with a murder. Crawford relied on her professional wit to aid her in processing grief. Her skills as a system analyst afforded her the discipline for research and information gathering on homicide. It was an opportunity for her to maintain some familiarity while self-educating on her plight. It was during one of those information-gathering sessions that she happened upon Project Cold Case, where she submitted Joshua’s case.
Project: Cold Case works hard to educate the public on the unique stressors and issues of families dealing with a cold case homicide. Here is a recap of a recent conversation our office had with Kay Crawford, the mother of Joshua Delaney.
Her words. Her Perspective.
Project: Cold Case: How has the arrest and incarceration of the suspect in your son’s case—not due to his murder but another crime– impacted your view of “justice”?
Kay Crawford: The impact on me and my family is that our judicial system is flawed, as we well know. However, in my definition, justice is in the legal theory where fairness is administered. With that being said, justice has not been meted out in my son’s murder. It saddens me that the suspect committed two other murders, which he is currently serving a 33-year sentence. I like to think that perhaps karma came to visit him and others who I believe were involved. Karma is the universe response to every action has a reaction, but justice is dealt out by man.
PCC: Has having hope for accountability – an arrest and trial in your son’s murder – been stifled due to the arrest of the suspect and any exchanges with the investigators?
KC: Most definitely. The police have said all along that they believe the suspect is guilty of Joshua’s murder, but in all actuality, it is the [district attorney’s] office who does not believe they could prove it. Witnesses were deemed unreliable by the DA and therefore they made the decision not to bring him up on charges for Joshua’s murder. Also, early on when they DID bring him up for charges, evidence was accidentally destroyed by the police department. The PD has never told me what the evidence was that got destroyed, only that it would not severely impact the case. But there was a write-up regarding evidence being destroyed accidentally by our local newspaper and that is how I found out about it – the reporter called me and wanted to know my opinion.
PCC: What has the world lost out on without Joshua?
KC: The world at large lost a great thinker, a loving son, cousin, nephew, and brother. From an early age (4) Joshua began to read and his thirst for knowledge never diminished. He loved to debate and had great and varied intellect on most any subject. He was learning his way in the world and trying to come into manhood and become a great father to his 4-year-old daughter. He stumbled along the way and vowed not to repeat his same mistakes and become a productive, caring, loving member of society.
PCC: What has been gained since his loss?
KC: A greater appreciation of family and the meaning of “No day is promised.”
PCC: Joshua’s case is still cold. What would you like to see regarding how the media or the community understands “solved” classifications? Should there be more awareness for the unique complexities of a homicide case that has gone cold and have a suspect arrested and jailed on other charges not related to the murder?
KC: A case is considered unsolved until a suspect has been identified, charged, and tried for the crime. Thus, Joshua’s murder is, in my opinion, “cold” and “unsolved.”
I understand the police view of “solved,” but technically, until his killer has been charged and tried, it remains unsolved. I would like the community to better understand the complexities of how the police and the district attorneys’ office work together to start from witness gathering to prosecution of the case. How does the DA’s office determine what constitutes reasonable doubt, and how what may be reasonable to me maybe concrete evidence to another.
In Joshua’s case, perhaps two subsequent murders could have been prevented if the DA’s office had taken the case to trial.
March 28, 2015
Joshua “Josh” Delaney was our first case submission from someone we didn’t know. Within hours of our site going live, Josh’s family reached out for help. It is a scenario we hope to duplicate many times.
If you have lost a loved one to an unsolved homicide please submit their case info to us through our Case Submission page.
Josh was only 22 years old, engaged to be married and the father of a 4 year old little girl. Now she grows up without a father. A mother has to bury her son. Family members and friends are left to pick up the devastating pieces left by another senseless act of violence.
And almost 10 years later, still no one has come forward to bring Josh and his family justice.
If you have any information on Josh’s case, no matter how small, please call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.